Diarrhoea is the most common medical problem that travellers face and can really ruin a short holiday. Most cases can be attributed to a change in diet which exposes you to different strains of bacteria. Other causes are food poisoning such as typhoid -- a form of salmonella –amoebiasis, giardiasis, or simply too much chilli.
For mild diarrhoea, make sure you keep drinking plenty of fluids, such as rehydration mix available at all chemists, or diluted soft drinks. Use medication such as Lomotil or Imodium only if you need to travel as they are not cures.
For moderate diarrhoea, maintain fluids and self-administer an antibiotic such as norfloxacin 400mg twice a day for three days. Avoid Lomotil or Imodium.
For severe diarrhoea with fever, treat as for moderate and seek medical attention if symptoms persist for more than 48 hours.
For persistent diarrhoea, if you have a fever and mucus or blood in your stools, suspect amoebiasis. If you have abdominal cramps, flatulence and bubbly, foul-smelling diarrhoea persisting beyond three days, suspect giardiasis. You may want to seek medical attention or self-administer metronidazole (Flagyl), 750mg every eight hours for seven to ten days.
Prevention is the best cure, so be careful of what you eat and drink, and also wash your hands before eating. Activated charcoal can provide relief and is a time honoured treatment.
Despite rumours to the contrary, a diet of beer and bananas will not help.
Please find below some of the more frequently asked questions (FAQ) people have about travelling to Thailand. We've tried to answer all the most frequently asked questions, but if you have another query about Thailand, please try our Travelfish messageboard.
Is it possible to rent rooms or dormitories for long periods of time?
Rooms: is a fan room ok, or should I budget for air-con?
Should I take my own padlock for the door of my room while travelling in Thailand?
What should I do if a bag is stolen from my room or dormitory while travelling in Thailand?
What standard of acommodation can I expect for US$5?
Why are there so few dormitories in Thailand?
Can I drink the tap water in Thailand?
How can I avoid MSG in Thailand?
How do I avoid peanuts in Thailand?
I have a food allergy - will I cope?
Is there good vegetarian food in Thailand?
Is western food available in Thailand?
Are the ferries in Thailand safe?
Are the trains in Thailand safe?
Do they trains run on time?
Is it easy to hitch-hike in Thailand?
Is it easy to rent a car or motorcycle in Thailand?
Should I get a tourist minibus in Thailand?
What is Bangkok's bus system like?
Which is the better way to travel around Thailand - train or bus?
Are credit cards accepted in Thailand?
Are there ATMs in Thailand?
How can I have money sent to me in Thailand?
How can I send money out of Thailand?
Should I bring travellers cheques, credit/debit cards or cash to Thailand?
Should I tip in Thailand?
Are leeches a problem in Thailand?
Are legal drugs cheap in Thailand?
Do I need a prescription in Thailand?
Do I need malarial medication in Thailand?
General food and water precautions in Thailand
General health advice for Thailand
HIV/AIDS in Thailand
Is cholera a problem?
Is heatstroke a problem in Thailand?
Is medical care cheap in Thailand?
Is medical care in Thailand good?
Is rabies a problem in Thailand?
Schistosomiasis in Thailand?
Traveller's medical kit for travel in Thailand
What about dengue fever in Thailand?
Are there many internet cafes in Thailand?
Can I travel with a laptop in Thailand?
Is there ADSL internet access in Thailand?
What is mobile phone coverage like in Thailand?
What is the voltage in Thailand?